Oil Peak in 2005? Let us cultivate our garden

An update from http://www.lifeboatnews.com
Paul Grignon

Small communities would be wise to start a "garden" program in order to remain fairly self-sufficient in food. See: http://www.growarow.org

Oil Peak in 2005? Dale Allen Pfeiffer in Dale Pfeiffer's Blog Sunday 30 of October, 2005 http://www.lulu.com/allenadale

More evidence is coming in weekly to suggest that world oil production peaked in 2005. Within this past month, two notable petroleum geologists have produced statements to that effect. First there was Ali Samsam Bakhtiari, who said this past October. "In my humble opinion, we should now have reached 'Peak Oil'. So, it is high time to close this critical chapter in the history of international oil industry and bid the mighty 'Peak' farewell... At present, global oil output fluctuates around 82 mb/d as some institutions try vainly to push 2005 statistics towards 83 and 84 mb/d (as they always do). But they will be obliged to backtrack as 'actual' oil supplies fail to follow their 'paper' ones." (1)

This was followed by Colin Campbell's announcement at a conference in Rimini, Italy on October 28th that 2005 could be the year when world oil production peaks, to be soon followed by an irreversible decline.

According to Dr. Campbell, "the maximum peak of production as far as the normal so-called oil has come this year; after that will be a long decline.

Meanwhile, for other types of hydrocarbons. the peak will occur by 2010."(2) (Translated from Italian.)

These two statements, taken in concurrence with OPEC's August market report that total light, sweet oil production was declining,(3) and declining extraction rates from all the major oil companies except BP,(4) make it a safe bet that global oil production did indeed peak in 2005. I must offer a note of thanks to Chris Vernon for making both of the observations listed above in this paragraph.

Implications If world oil production has indeed peaked, then demand and production are diverging and the trend will be towards rising oil prices from here on in. However, the real problem lies not so much with the peak and with the irreversible decline that will follow. How serious our problems will be depends in part on how steep this decline is, and-possibly in larger measure-on how we react to the divergence and decline.

So far, the market and the general public has not yet realized that world oil production has peaked, much less the significance of this event. This is because the peak is being masked by specific production problems due to natural catastrophes, wars and civil unrest. At present, neither the market, the media nor the general public has been able to see the forest for the trees.

This situation is both bad and good. It is bad for society overall, because it means that we have not started to grapple with the problem. If society would wake up right now and begin to prepare, we could optimize our chances of transitioning into a sustainable paradigm. The longer it takes our society to wake up, the worse our chances will be of making this transition.

On the other hand, this social denial is delaying the other shoe (being the economic shoe) from dropping. Once the full realization of what is happening floods into the market, there will be an economic crash in response. This intervening period, which Dr. Bakhtiari calls 'Transition One', will provide a chance for those who are aware of what is happening to quietly prepare.

Personally, I do not advocate heading for the hills. Those hills are already occupied. And the residents there will be less and less apt to receive newcomers warmly.

Nor will you, as a newcomer have the support system that you left behind along with your familiar surroundings.

Instead, preparing means taking stock of what is around you, limiting or eliminating personal debt, increasing your own energy sufficiency where you are right now, and building up a reserve of whatever items you feel might be most helpful either for personal survival or trade.

Most of all, it means getting involved in your own community.

Possibly one of the most important things you can do to ensure community security is to get involved in your local food bank, or start one if none exists in your area.

Food banks can serve as a platform from which to launch community gardening programs.

And nothing will spell security for your community so much as locally produced food and a system for ensuring that none in your community must starve.

Voltaire's advice has never been more apt in every meaning of the phrase: "Let us cultivate our garden."

Informant: friends2b


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November 2005

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